How many driving lessons to pass a test
If you're thinking that's a lot of lessons, you're either a parent that will have to pay and you're now busy doing the math, or you're comparing the number to the few lessons you did prior to passing many years ago.
Unfortunately, or fortunately if you consider the need to drive on our modern roads safely the requirements to pass a driving test have moved on at a rapid pace.
The driving test is now longer than ever before, removing one manoeuvre, so placing more emphasis on the driving element. The theory and hazard perception test have replaced the few Highway Code questions we once asked at the end of the driving test.
The full driving test syllabus can be viewed in the official DSA guide to learning to drive book. This guide clearly explains the criteria required to meet the 24 key driving skills examined in the practical driving test.
That said, it's important to be honest and realistic to appreciate how much time each individual will need to thoroughly understand those skills. Consider then, 24 key driving skills multiplied by a 2 hour driving lesson will equate to the number of lessons research has proven to be the average amount of lessons taken.
Those learner drivers who pass first time do so because they are ready and have plenty of professional instruction and practice.
Remember, nine out of ten learners who passed the practical test on their first attempt were taught by an ADI rather than a friend or relative.
It is whilst taking these professional driving lessons that conflict occurs between learners and indeed, the driving instructors.
It's reasonable to understand the desire of learners to pass as quickly as possible and appreciative of the discussions and comparisons that will arise between friends and family.
This leads to tales of learners driving along a dual carriageway on the third lesson and reversing around a corner on the fourth lesson and the subsequent pressure on those still trying to master clutch control and the ability to move slowly where appropriate after six lessons.
Although the syllabus is clearly defined, I would argue that the actual structure of a course of driving lessons can never be laid out for all to follow as the needs of individual learners will differ. Some will need to spend more time on a particular subject or local road conditions may dictate the need to deal with more defined considerations such as roundabouts.
I would also suggest, some driving instructors are also pressured by outside influences other than the pupil they are teaching, like family interference, money concerns or pupil's schedule.
As a consequence, some pupil's are ushered through a course of unstructured driving lessons and into a driving test earlier than their ability suggests.
This perhaps suggests why the pass rate is so low, at around 43% on average and why so many individuals are not successful first time.
It's not uncommon for learners who have moved on too quickly to fail several tests. This often gets overlooked by those looking to take short cuts and obviously not highlighted when offering experiences to friends.
Each driving lesson should have a clearly defined aim and objectives and should be met before moving on to the next subject. Learners and instructors alike should not be afraid to deal with the task effectively before moving on as this will promote the ability to drive consistently well, with confidence and without guidance.
By all means, the transfer of experiences is an important part of the learning process but should not replace the need to fully understand the criteria or replace essential practice.
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